Theatrical Thursday – Jersey Boys

Given what this Theatrical Thursday is about not all of these will have a link to a novel of any kind. Even though this isn’t book related I wanted to talk about it anyway because I love theatre and once the Festival gets going I’ll be talking about a number of shows that have no other literary history than that of a theatrical production. But I also think that plays has a place in the literary world and that’s why I’m using this place to talk about them.

There were a number of reasons for wanting to see Jersey Boys. The primary reason for wanting to watching this particular show is because the director, Des McAnuff, is the new Artistic Director of the place I work, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. This year he is directing our flagship production Macbeth and one of the musicals this season A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. So needless to say I felt inclined to see this production dispite its one major downfall, the fact that it’s a jukebox musical. I really don’t like the jukebox musical because the stories are contrived and are just a way of drawing people to the theatre because they already know the music.

I saw the all Canadian cast at the Toronto Center for the Arts last week. There were four of us that took the trip from Stratford to Toronto. Sadly the most exciting part of the evening was when we saw Fred Penner come through the front door. He was someone I remember watching on television all the time growing up. So it was really exciting to see him. You may better remember him for this:

After that excitement we entered the theatre to see this production. Jersey Boys, for those of you don’t know, is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The story is good and the music is fantastic but as a show it’s not anything spectacular. I just couldn’t understand why it continues to win all the awards it’s won or won the Tony Awards it got. The best that could be said for this show is that it’s entertainment. It’s enjoyable but I don’t think it’s something people should rush out to see.

My first encounter with this show was watching the Tony Awards. You’ll get an idea of the energy of the show from the clip below from the Tony Awards. For those of you that know the music of the Four Seasons you’ll enjoy the tunes in this show and it may be of interest to see the show.


Booking Through Thursday #29

Booking Through Thursday

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

These are some great questions, which should elicit some interesting responses.  It’s been a long time since I’ve used a library, not because I don’t like them it’s just that I prefer owning my own books, which can be a rather expensive hobby.  For me the problem is being told how much time I can spend with a book, that particular boundary is what holds me back from taking advantage of the services that a public library offers.

As for the library being replaced by the coffee shop/bookstore I’d have to say no.  This is yet another option in the source for books.  Each serve a different function and so one cannot replace the other.  One serves a purpose the other doesn’t, unless this happens I don’t think it will ever replace the library.


I did visit the library as a child but not very often because my parents weren’t readers.  I was actually the only one that did any reading the house and so could only use the library when my class would go or once I was old enough to go myself.  But once I was old enough my use of library services changed because I had cash to spend on books and nothing is more satisfying that purchasing a brand new book and opening it up and experiencing that book for the first time.

Since I live in a theatre town I remember the theatre room that my public library has.  I don’t remember the name but it has a huge collection of theatre related books as well as a video collection of Shakespeare films.  It’s a great room that you can use and sit and read the books in this collection or sit a watch one of the videos.

I much prefer the older darker libraries.  There’s something an old building that houses novels and the mystery that comes with older buildings.